Dr. Sunita Gandhi, Founder, Global Classroom Private Limited (GCPL) & Global Education & Training Institute (GETI) is launching the first Global Dream Shaala, an initiative for providing free education to out of school children starting with Uttar Pradesh on the 10th December 2020, Human Rights Day, at 12 noon. The event, marking the collaboration between DEVI Sansthan and SBI Life, will be inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Dinesh Sharma and Lucknow’s first ever female Mayor, Sanyukta Bhatia.
The literacy programme is the first-of-its-kind exponentially scalable model that aims at making people literate using the Global Dream Toolkit which is a vastly alternative way of teaching that accelerates learning. It has two-fold objective of firstly providing an education to the children who are out of school and secondly to make adults literate. As education has become inaccessible during the Pandemic, Dr Sunita Gandhi has approached this with a unique strategy to provide functional literacy to the masses.
Speaking about the launch, Dr. Sunita Gandhi, Founder, Global Classroom Private Limited (GCPL) & Global Education & Training Institute (GETI) said, “Our primary objective with Global Dream Shaala is to provide a zero cost scale-up model of learning that is both quick and effective, and that makes learning gain real every day. This keeps the motivation of both volunteers and learners high.”
A pilot of this approach was already carried out with 22 women volunteers in Karauni in the Sarojini Nagar Block of Lucknow. Soon, these women turned teachers and within the first few months prepared 180 women to take the NLM Basic Literacy Exam by NIOS. Together, they made more than 800 women in Karauni capable of reading, writing, numeracy. Later, the program was carried out in other cities targeted to educate underprivileged children, adults and their mentors. This curriculum which was originally made in 2014, has been launched in slums, villages, government schools, and among school children in Lucknow and other cities in Uttar Pradesh and eight other States of India, some of it in collaboration with other NGOs and organizations such as Magic Bus and Pratham.
Global Dream Shaala is a unique learner-centric program which is the need of the hour. The program utilizes local level volunteers who may themselves be illiterate. Their main roles are motivating learners and facilitating their learning as in the new version, the videos do the entire job of teaching. The volunteers too become literate in the process. This will prove helpful in tapping into opportunities to scale up these projects across Uttar Pradesh, starting with Lucknow’s urban slums. We further aim to expand the initiative across India including Tier 2 and 3 cities and to take the children from basic literacy to Class 3 and 5 levels within the program, with them taking the NIOS exams for these levels.”
Inaugurating the Global Dream Shaala programme, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Dinesh Sharma in his message said, “We are committed to provide high-quality education to one and all. With the help of Global Dream Shaala and Global Dream Toolkits, the underprivileged will be introduced to new and innovative ways of learning. We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Sunita Gandhi and DEVI Sansthan in providing transformative education to the underprivileged kids.”
The Global Dream Toolkits, which are used as curriculum to teach illiterate people, help learners start to read much faster than other existing primers and curriculums. Many learners can begin to read within one to two months with just 15 minutes learning sessions per day. This is one of the biggest attractions for a learner and the excitement for them is real when within the first 15 minute sessions itself, they can begin to read six words and associate ten letters.
The approach to teaching and learning is vastly different. The toolkit begins by learners relating pictures that are known to them with their first sounds, and then combines two sounds to make real words. This takes a learner from the known (picture) to the picture’s first sound (also known) to the letter symbol (the unknown). This keeps the learner engaged by making mind connections which is vastly different from rote learning. It uses greater thinking time and other research based techniques to accelerate learning. With merely 5 lessons and within 10-15 days, most learners are able to recognize all letters of the Hindi alphabet. In another 10-15 days, they can read a newspaper! Many of the children that begin in the program could not recognize letters or read a simple passage even after having attended school for three to five years. Underprivileged children and adults often have time and place constraints. With no more than fifteen minute lessons a day, at the convenience of these individuals in their own locales, the program is more operative.
The lessons have inbuilt tests developed to assess whether the student is learning and progressing before they moving further. Each new step is a natural progression of the previous lesson. This allows learning to be personalized. A learner knows exactly where they are in the learning journey, and they can always go back and review a previous lesson. The program also includes the teaching of English and it is available in thirteen Indian languages including Urdu.
Dr. Gandhi promises, “Something has to done given that COVID has set back the education of children nationwide. Video based accelerated systems designed to deliver on education through a fast-tracked program such as Global Dream seem the most appropriate way forward.”